It seems that mysteries have been high on my radar lately. Going Home by Sharon Marchisello was a complex, intricate web worked by her every day heroine Michelle DePalma. It is set in the months following 9/11 when America was still reeling from the attacks that day, haunted by the images that had been broadcast in real time of planes turned weapons of terror. The story opens with a daughter, Michelle, coming home to visit her ailing mother, Lola, and finding the body of her caregiver in the front entry hall.
The cast of characters that filter through the book are every day people, living every day lives and Marchisello takes special care to present their normalcy, in their language and conversations, in their interests and expectations. The ailing mother is suffering from Alzheimers, that great theif, slowly losing her memories and cognitive ability. She has no memory of the events that ended with her caregiver's death, and ultimitely is unaware that a murder has taken place and unaware that she is the prime suspect. The frustration I felt as Michelle struggled to get answers, as she struggled to care for her once strong and independant parent was very real. This book is a snapshot of the tragedy of frailty.
They mystery of the murdered caregiver is not the only mystery going through this book, but the joy in discovery I will leave for you. Michelle is perhaps the biggest mystery and she grows during the week the book covers and we see her transform as she is forced to confront her past and her future while attempting to clear her mother's name. I very much enjoyed this quiet mystery, I enjoyed the simple people and their complex relationships. Sometimes you find a book that will take you right away and be gone as soon as it is over, this is not one of those books, this is a book that will linger and come back to you at odd times. The very real struggle of coping with the aging and loss of our parents is powerful and Marchisello does a fine job of handling it with grace and tenderness.
Nicely done, Sharon. Looking forward to your next offering.